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Directv Collection by AFNI


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Back in May this year, we decided to cancel our directv service and agreed to pay the ETF. We were told that Directv would automatically charge the final balance to the credit card on file and the last bill received in May also stated the same. We have never received any bill or communication whatsoever from Directv since then.

 

Yesterday, DH just received a letter from AFNI saying that "this account has been placed with our agency for collection". I managed to find the last bill received (amount matched) and DH managed to log into the directv account and the final charge was never taken out of the credit card (DH confirmed no charge was found on the credit card statement either). So, he pulled his 3 reports and the TL is on TU and EQ. Exp will need to snail mail the report for some reason.

 

Here's what on the report:

ANDERSON FINANCIAL
Agency Address: PO Box 3097
Bloomington, IL 617023097
Date Reported: 10/2014
Date Assigned: 09/2014
Creditor Classification: Utilities
Creditor Name: DIRECTV
Accounts Number: 739258XXXX
Account Owner: Individual Account.
Original Amount Owned: $217
Date of 1 st Delinquency: 05/2014
Balance Date: 10/2014
Balance Owned: $217
Last Payment Date : N/A
Status Date: 10/2014
Status: D - Unpaid
Comments: N/A
I was going to send DV letter to AFNI first and PFD if it comes back verified but then I saw the letter from them again and they wanted the payment to go directly to OC. So should I send the DV letter to CA or to the OC now? Is 1 2 Punch required?
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If you owe it I would call Direct and see if you can pay them directly before it turns into an even bigger mess. You can raise hell with the BBB if they don't want to play ball. Get past the initial CSR if you call Direct and talk to someone who can really handle things.. If you are disputing it's yours then DV both, but that doesn't sound like thats the case here. Make sure you determine why there is a balance due and what it includes (late fees, equipment, service charges, ask so on). You don't want something to come up later that wasn't included in settling the matter. Also make sure removal from the CRAs in included, in writing, before payment is made. An email, snail mail, or fax will do.

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So, DH called the customer service, no go there. I just got off the phone with the office of the President and was told that they can't do anything even if I pay the balance in full and that I have to deal with CA since legally CA owns the debt (but CA letter stated to make payment to OC directly? I'm confused).

 

So, no, they don't wanna play ball :(

What do I do now?

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Pay directly to DirecTV if at all possible. Do NOT pay to AFNI unless you want them stuck to your reports. I paid them 2 years ago for an old $50 AT&T account and they won't budge from my EX report. F#@*kers.

I've seen others say AFNI won't respond to a dispute after it's been paid and they achieve deletion.

 

I take it your experience has been different? AFNI is my last baddie and I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to approach it.

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Since it was sold, respond to their letter with a DV. Make sure you do it ASAP before 30 days have passed. How much are they claiming you owe in the letter? It's probably more that what the TL reports.

 

See what comes of the DV and then come back to this post to update and figure out the next step. A PFD might be the next step.

Edited by funkiehouse
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Based on the recent experience of myself and another recent poster here, that doesn't sound right, Pink. DirecTV send my account to 3 CA's before my Intent to Sue got their attention -- another poster's bounced twice. In each case, DV's received a response directly from DirecTV (on DirecTV letterhead), with instructions to make payment to DirecTV's billing department. I'd be surprised if AFNI owns your account - especially after such a short time.

 

Mine was a DirecTV billing F'up not unlike yours. The first two CA's that contacted us, went away after I sent a copy of the paperwork showing the billing error. When I got a letter from a 3rd CA in under 2 months, I sent nut-job letter saying "I'm tired of this harassment from DirecTV. Be advised that I'm filing suit and a CFPB complaint against DirecTV. I will include you in the lawsuit if I you do not notify me within 15 days that you have closed this account and removed any reports filed with the CRA's" That got a "please don't sue us" letters from both the CA and DirecTV, and a final statement from DirecTV listing a $0 balance and account closed.

 

If you've got it in writing that DirecTV was supposed to bill your CC, you're golden. Send letters to both the CA and DirecTV explaining that it was their billing F'up, along with a copy of that statement. I responded to the first two CA's politely (copying DirecTV, each time), and DirecTV didn't pay attention until I went rabid. You might want to go straight to the nut-job "I'm going to sue you MF's!" approach, and save yourself some time.

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Pay directly to DirecTV if at all possible. Do NOT pay to AFNI unless you want them stuck to your reports. I paid them 2 years ago for an old $50 AT&T account and they won't budge from my EX report. F#@*kers.

I've seen others say AFNI won't respond to a dispute after it's been paid and they achieve deletion.

 

I take it your experience has been different? AFNI is my last baddie and I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to approach it.

 

 

Since it was sold, respond to their letter with a DV. Make sure you do it ASAP before 30 days have passed. How much are they claiming you owe in the letter? It's probably more that what the TL reports.

 

See what comes of the DV and then come back to this post to update and figure out the next step. A PFD might be the next step.

 

From what I've read so far, AFNI doesn't respond to PFD well but they are more willing to delete the items after payment in full. Please share your findings about them as well... obviously, I'm dealing with them as well :)

 

 

Based on the recent experience of myself and another recent poster here, that doesn't sound right, Pink. DirecTV send my account to 3 CA's before my Intent to Sue got their attention -- another poster's bounced twice. In each case, DV's received a response directly from DirecTV (on DirecTV letterhead), with instructions to make payment to DirecTV's billing department. I'd be surprised if AFNI owns your account - especially after such a short time.

 

Mine was a DirecTV billing F'up not unlike yours. The first two CA's that contacted us, went away after I sent a copy of the paperwork showing the billing error. When I got a letter from a 3rd CA in under 2 months, I sent nut-job letter saying "I'm tired of this harassment from DirecTV. Be advised that I'm filing suit and a CFPB complaint against DirecTV. I will include you in the lawsuit if I you do not notify me within 15 days that you have closed this account and removed any reports filed with the CRA's" That got a "please don't sue us" letters from both the CA and DirecTV, and a final statement from DirecTV listing a $0 balance and account closed.

 

If you've got it in writing that DirecTV was supposed to bill your CC, you're golden. Send letters to both the CA and DirecTV explaining that it was their billing F'up, along with a copy of that statement. I responded to the first two CA's politely (copying DirecTV, each time), and DirecTV didn't pay attention until I went rabid. You might want to go straight to the nut-job "I'm going to sue you MF's!" approach, and save yourself some time.

 

I know, I strongly believe DirecTv still owns the debt so I'm not sure why the rep I spoke with said I should deal with AFNI. However, arguing otherwise with him didn't seem like it was going anywhere so I ended the call. Oh believe me, there is nothing that'll satisfy me more than suing them but I need to do more research first on how to do so and make sure I will win (I generally do not bluff and I pick a battle with a high chance of winning :grin: ).

He said that DirecTv sent us bills on May, June and July. We only received May bill (last bill after cancellation), nothing in letter after that until letter from AFNI.

I'm going to send a DV to AFNI to see who actually owns the debt - my bet is on Directv. In the meantime, should I try calling back Directv to see if another person might be helpful?

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If I were in your shoes, I'd send DirecTV a check (made out to DirecTV) with your account number on it and maybe a copy of your last DirecTV statement. If they cash the check, the debt will be clear and you'll have solved to mystery of who owns the debt. If not.... back to the drawing board.

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If I were in your shoes, I'd send DirecTV a check (made out to DirecTV) with your account number on it and maybe a copy of your last DirecTV statement. If they cash the check, the debt will be clear and you'll have solved to mystery of who owns the debt. If not.... back to the drawing board.

I can do that but the collection item on DH report with 3 CRA will say "paid" instead of deleted.

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<snip>

He said that DirecTv sent us bills on May, June and July. We only received May bill (last bill after cancellation), nothing in letter after that until letter from AFNI.

I'm going to send a DV to AFNI to see who actually owns the debt - my bet is on Directv. In the meantime, should I try calling back Directv to see if another person might be helpful?

 

Betcha a nickle the DV response will be a letter from Directv. re: suing -- I'm with you, my primary objective was simply to make them go away. My point was that, based on my experience, it may take the credible threat of a lawsuit before Directv takes you seriously. In my case, I sent the same factual dispute of the debt each time - but it took an "I'm gonna sue you MF's" letter to get their attention.

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I had an account with Sprint and the sent it to a CA (Diversified). I called Sprint and attempted to make an arrangement to pay the account and was told the account was transferred to Diversified (which I already knew). After making a payment to Diversified the representative begin to constantly call me so I went online and logged into my past Sprint account and I was able to make payments through there. Each month on my credit report it showed the balance was decreasing with Diversified until it was paid in full. It shows a zero balance and my credit scores went up. I am now thinking about doing a DV to have it removed. Hope this helps.

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  • Admin

Any time you call, and get a CSR who give you an answer you don't like, try again, at a different time of day, so hopefully, you will get a different shift, and not risk getting the same person again. Always try to judge the person's mood when they answer. If they don't sound nice and friendly, get off the phone, and try again later. Keep in mind, someone who is in training as a csr has another person listening to them constantly, and can't do you any favors.

 

Let me clear up one thing - if a CA has the debt, and you pay the OC, the CA can still report it as paid. There's nothing illegal about that, unless you get the OC to agree to take the debt back from the CA. In that case, the CA should disappear from your reports. Always get agreements in writing - email is fine, just make sure you save it somewhere, where it will be available if your hard drive is demolished. ;)

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Re-reading OP's original - it's a little messy because the final bill was not, in fact paid - but only because DTV failed to execute on the stated payment method (billing the OP's credit card on file). It's equivalent to the OC having your check in hand, failing to cash it, and then sending you to collections.

 

Pink- in my case, it was a little cleaner, because DTV *had* received final payment. But I'd suggest following the same steps I did, and act as if you're not aware that DTV failed to charge your CC. Send a dispute to AFNI, with a copy of that May bill, and circle the part that says DTV will charge your CC for the final payment. Below is a copy of my letter, modified to fit your specifics. Send this CMRRR, to both DTV and the AFNI. This should get AFNI's immediate attention (I got a response from my CA a week later, stating that they'd dropped the account and deleted the reports). DTV might send it to collections again, but just keep sending this letter to the CA's - that will stop the CA's and keep this off your CR's. Eventually, DTV will either zero your balance and drop it, or look at the account and charge your CC like they were supposed to 6 months ago.

 

DIRECTV Customer Service

P.O. Box 6550

Greenwood Village, CO 80155-6550

 

Account Number:
Last 4 digits of SSN:
Debt Amount: $
Certified Mail:

 

Per my May 2014 statement, final payment on this DIRECTV account was billed to my credit card, last 4 digits XXXX. (see attached)

 

At this point, I consider this collection attempt to be a simple billing error. I expect DIRECTV to recall this account from AFNI, and to confirm that the account is closed. Further, I expect AFNI to delete any reports it has made to the Credit Reporting Agencies withing 15 days. AFNI’s collection attempts have already placed DIRECTV in violation of FCRA and FDCPA. Any further collection attempts will result in legal action.

 

Sincerely,

Pissed off Pinklover

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Re-reading OP's original - it's a little messy because the final bill was not, in fact paid - but only because DTV failed to execute on the stated payment method (billing the OP's credit card on file). It's equivalent to the OC having your check in hand, failing to cash it, and then sending you to collections.

 

Pink- in my case, it was a little cleaner, because DTV *had* received final payment. But I'd suggest following the same steps I did, and act as if you're not aware that DTV failed to charge your CC. Send a dispute to AFNI, with a copy of that May bill, and circle the part that says DTV will charge your CC for the final payment. Below is a copy of my letter, modified to fit your specifics. Send this CMRRR, to both DTV and the AFNI. This should get AFNI's immediate attention (I got a response from my CA a week later, stating that they'd dropped the account and deleted the reports). DTV might send it to collections again, but just keep sending this letter to the CA's - that will stop the CA's and keep this off your CR's. Eventually, DTV will either zero your balance and drop it, or look at the account and charge your CC like they were supposed to 6 months ago.

 

DIRECTV Customer Service

P.O. Box 6550

Greenwood Village, CO 80155-6550

 

Account Number:

Last 4 digits of SSN:

Debt Amount: $

Certified Mail:

 

Per my May 2014 statement, final payment on this DIRECTV account was billed to my credit card, last 4 digits XXXX. (see attached)

 

At this point, I consider this collection attempt to be a simple billing error. I expect DIRECTV to recall this account from AFNI, and to confirm that the account is closed. Further, I expect AFNI to delete any reports it has made to the Credit Reporting Agencies withing 15 days. AFNI’s collection attempts have already placed DIRECTV in violation of FCRA and FDCPA. Any further collection attempts will result in legal action.

 

Sincerely,

Pissed off Pinklover

 

Jeffe,

 

Thank you so much for the customized letter. It's a bit fortunate that DH still hasn't made it to the post office to drop the DV letter yet!

I will mail the letter today to both DTV and AFNI and see what they'll say. We really thought that the payment was already deducted (it's on DH's cc and I don't normally go through his statement).

 

This is not directly related to the issue but DTV stood us up 3 times (on 3 different days!) when we moved and had to have new dish installation at current place. First, they said the tech couldn't find the address (hello Google Maps?). 2nd times, no one took any responsibility, said it was not within their area and blamed the other office that should've taken care of our account. Third time, after DH lost it talking to those jerks, I called them up and told them this is our last attempt to get this done. If they don't show up within 30 min from now, I will not pay any penalty resulting from it and that they can send us to collection and the next time I'll see them, it will be in court. Guess what, they showed up :(

Last thing I want is to deal with DirecTv. We now only have Netflix and Hulu Plus.

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you can call direct tv and tell them you want to pay your bill and reinstate services but i wouldn't reinstate.

The collection agency that DTV sent this to has already reported on her credit reports. She needs to attack that first, or it could stay on her CR's for 7 years as a paid collection

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you can call direct tv and tell them you want to pay your bill and reinstate services but i wouldn't reinstate.

The collection agency that DTV sent this to has already reported on her credit reports. She needs to attack that first, or it could stay on her CR's for 7 years as a paid collection

I would talk to Direct myself and pay it off. Then debt validate the CA but maybe I'm wrong

Thanks JeffeVerde for pointing that out. I thought she would come out cheaper with Direct tv directly and goodwill but either way.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Update: AFNI sent back a letter dated 11/26 but postmarked 12/02. Here's what they say:

 

Afni, Inc. Account # 123456789-10

 

Creditor: Directv

Creditor Account #: 739258XXXX

 

Balance: 217.xx

 

 

The attached information has been provided by the OC as validation of the above account. Thank you for your attention in this matter.

If you have any questions, please contact our office toll free at (877) 497-9052 Monday through Friday 7am-9pm CT. For proper credit on your account, please write this number 123456789-10 on your payment.

 

This is an attempt to collect a debt. Any information obtained will be used for that purpose. This letter is from a debt collector.

 

Sincerely,

 

Afni, Inc.

 

 

Attached is also a respond letter from OC saying:

 

We received notification of your correspondence regarding your Directv account and appreciate the opportunity to respond to your concerns.

We have reviewed all charges, payments, and credits appearing on your account and consider the balance to be accurate. For more information regarding the terms and conditions of your account refer to the Directv Customer Agreement at directv.com/agreement.

 

Please remit the balance due in the amount of $217.xx to the following address to avoid further collection action.

Directv

PO Box 78626

Phoenix, AZ 85062-8626

 

Sincerely,

Directv Collection Department

 

 

They also attached a balance/payment list and a Work Order form with DH signature on it.

 

What do I do now?

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Please remit the balance due in the amount of $217.xx to the following address to avoid further collection action.

Directv

PO Box 78626

Phoenix, AZ 85062-8626

 

What do I do now?

If it were me, I would do as quoted above in bold. After the payment had posted and I had a receipt, I would then dispute the AFNI account with the CRA's. I would not pay AFNI a penny, given the opportunity to pay the OC directly.

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@Pinklover

 

See my post #7 -- your issue is following the same path mine did. My situation was a little different, in that they were trying to collect money they weren't owed, so I had to fight with them until they acknowledged that fact. In your case, there is a valid debt, but there should not be any late or collections notation on your record, because you provided them a means of payment, and they failed to use it.

At this point, I'd suggest writing to DTV's EO, explaining the situation --

  • you terminated service, and DTV stated that final payment would be charged to your CC on record
  • Your final statement (copy enclosed) also stated that final payment would be charged to your CC on record.
  • You reasonably assumed that was the end of the matter
  • You later received a collections notice, and subsequently discovered that DTV failed to collect final payment
  • As you had provided a means of payment (the CC on file) in a timely fashion, the "late payment" is entirely the fault of DTV's billing department; you expect DTV to recall the account from AFNI, and to delete any derogatory information that has been reported to the CRA's.
  • At this point, you consider this a simple accounting error. But if the collection entry on your CRA's has not been deleted in 30 days, you'll consider this an intentional violation of FCRA and FDCPA, and you will file a lawsuit seeking statutory damages for DTV and AFNI's willful violations.

cc: AFNI on the letter. You should get a quick response from AFNI saying that they've closed the account and deleted the CRA entries (they'll want to distance themselves from your threatened lawsuit).

 

Ideally, you want something from DTV saying "our mistake", so you've got documentation if this ever comes back on your CR. The derogs come from the CA's not directly from DTV. So once AFNI has withdrawn, you could just go ahead and pay DTV without requiring some sort of "it was our fault" letter from DTV -- but if you do, send payment *as soon as AFNI withdraws*. In my case, DTV sent the account to a second CA a few weeks after the first withdrew. It would make things awkward if your payment was received after another CA had the account - they could argue that it's now a paid collection, and you'd have another fight to get that removed from your CR's.

Edited by JeffeVerde
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Please remit the balance due in the amount of $217.xx to the following address to avoid further collection action.

Directv

PO Box 78626

Phoenix, AZ 85062-8626

 

What do I do now?

If it were me, I would do as quoted above in bold. After the payment had posted and I had a receipt, I would then dispute the AFNI account with the CRA's. I would not pay AFNI a penny, given the opportunity to pay the OC directly.

 

 

GK,

I would do so if that will result in deletion of the collection entry on DH CR. However, it has been known that CA can still report it as paid (and DTV rep I spoke with confirmed it will be reported as paid) and might not delete the entry. It is cheaper than spending $16 to send 2 CMRR to both OC and CA each time but it looks like it's not going to solve the problem.

 

 

Jeffe,

I'm going to write the letter. Just hope it will get them to delete the entry :(

Thank you for your help. I'll post back with update.

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Ok so I've been reading PsychDoc Credit Repair School, FCBA, FDCPA and FCRA. Though I don't completely understand FDCPA and FCRA, it looks to me that the OC on my case is clearly in violation with the FCBA (they did not communicate with us that the credit card payment they were supposed to charge was not done/successful) and we never received any letter or call from OC to let us know that we still owed them money. And based on FCBA, they should have had!

 

Would filing a complaint with the FTC and writing a letter back to OC regarding their violation with the FCBA help my case? I will ask them to provide documentation that they had mailed the bill after we cancel service and the credit card payment didn't happen. In this case, just a print out bill will not be proof enough since they can easily create one today, I need proof that they indeed mail it out to my current address.

 

In the meantime, I'll cc the letter to the CA and.. (need help here? I read the FDCPA and not sure which part of it that the CA is in violation of?). Maybe the part that the debt is being disputed with OC and the CA should not be reporting inaccurate information?

 

 

Breeze: would picking up the phone and calling OC at this point help or hurt my case?

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